Newport, Pandora’s kind of town.

It’s Tuesday morning and Pandora is all alone up in Wickford.  I’ll be rejoining her later this week for a run back to Deep River where she will be hauled for a few weeks.  I’ll be getting her ready for the run to Annapolis then to Hampton VA and ultimately on to Virgin Gorda and our winter of sailing in the Caribbean.  I am getting excited about the coming months but have to say that all the details of getting ready to go and prepare a “new” boat for such a run is a bit daunting.

Crew is lined up already so there will be four of us running Pandora south from Hampton in early November.  So, how would you like to be near Cape Hatteras in early winter?  Hmm…

Anyway, it’s too early to be talking much about warmer climes when it’s still plenty warm here in New England.

Since Brenda and I returned from our week long run up to Nantucket we have been aboard again for a weekend with my old college friend Tom and his wife Lisa. We just spent only a short time together but it was a lot of fun and nice to catch up again.

I also hosted some folks aboard Pandora for an afternoon sail around Newport recently as part of a fund raiser for the CT River Museum.  I have been volunteering there for the last year and am enjoying it a great deal.  Here is a shot of my friend Rodney, able crew, at the wheel as well as our guests for the day.  We had a great time.  I have mentioned that Pandora has AIS, both a receiver and transponder, and I am still getting used to knowing that she shows up on other folks plotters as other AIS equipped boats do on mine.  It’s a nice feature and a great way to increase safety.

It’s nice to be seen.  As an added feature, you can see me on any service that tracks AIS, even on your smart phone.  I chose to install “Marine Traffic” on my iphone and.  So, as I write this post, this is a screen shot of Pandora in Wickford Harbor. Pretty neat.
If that’s not cool enough, how about the track from my day of sailing with Rodney and the gang.  It’s the first time that I have ever “day-sailed” out of Newport.  We had perfect wind and covered a lot of ground, over 40 miles in an afternoon.The program has some nice features including “my fleet” where you can choose to track specific vessels anywhere they are, world wide.  Pandora is in my “fleet” and I signed up to get an email message when she leaves or arrives in a harbor.  As we sailed around Newport my phone was buzzing “Pandora has arrived” and “Pandora has departed” all day long.  Anyway, I thought it was pretty neat.

Speaking of Newport, Brenda and I visited Newport Shipyard,  THE home for megayachts in Newport, on our last visit and walked around the yard enjoying the sights.  I particularly enjoyed seeing Vendetta, Billy Joel’s 57′ commuter yacht.   She’s a beauty with her barrel back stern.  She’s been for sale for a number of years and is listed at a cool $1,295,000.  Pocket change…  Speaking of singers. I’d like to listen to the VHF radio and hear “Elvis has left the room” no make that the harbor.  I wonder what the owner was thinking when he or she decided to name their cat “Elvis”.  She’s a regular fixture in the marina as we have seen her here before. There’s no end to the beautiful yachts in Newport.  Most are huge but some, like this small Carriacou sloop, are just beautiful, if not big.  These sloops, most not nearly as yachty as this one, are natives to the island in the Caribbean near Grenada.  Perhaps we’ll see some of these boats over the winter. Brenda and I also visited this wonderful little print shop in a residential area of Newport, “The Third & Elm Press.  The owner, who’s been there a really long time, makes prints and cards the old fashioned way using equipment that’s well over 100 years old.  There is nothing “modern” about this place.   I don’t think that she takes “Apple Pay”.You don’t see printing presses like this every day.  Not a great picture but you, well, you get the picture…I have walked past this spot hundreds of times over the years but never entered.  The Seamen’s Church Institute.  This place has a long history of helping seafarers in Newport.  These days “help” is in the form of showers and a spot to sit and reflect or at least relax away from the bustle of downtown Newport.   I understand that they also have rooms for rent.  Neat spot. They have a wonderful area to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. And a really nice library. There’s even a modest collection of ship models.  All of vessels associated with Newport.  How about this torpedo boat?  I always like cut-away models. 9-2-15a 046Even though I have been to Newport many times over the years, I never tire of seeing the sights.  I won’t be back to Newport by boat again till next summer but I will surely enjoy yet another visit soon as it’s surely Pandora’s kind of town.

Speaking of soon, soon will come soon enough as I am visiting with Rodger Martin at his office in Newport later this week.  Rodger designed Pandora so it will be fun to to learn more about his work and hopefully get some good info for a post.  Stay tuned.

Well, time’s up and the day is not getting any younger.  Time to wrap this up.

More to come…


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